Health-related Articles

Anxious? Stressed? Depressed? Hire Nature as Your Therapist

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Mysterious path

Stressed out? Let nature calm you down.

For the past ten years I have taken a small group of people into the woods for a seven-day retreat in the fall. Every year, I am amazed at the healing effects of this. By the end of the week, everyone is blissful, at peace and alive in ways they were not when they arrived.

Each year, at least one person experiences a radical, life-changing shift. They have the tools to endure suffering better than they have in the past.

Now Japanese scientific studies prove that “forest bathing” or taking a walk in the woods, can have a profound effect on the immune system and the elimination of stress and anxiety. Yoshifumi Miyazaki, director of the Center for Environment Health and Field Sciences at Chiba University and the head researcher on the project, said, “humans had lived in nature for 5 million years. We were made to fit a natural environment. So we feel stress in an urban area…When we are exposed to nature, our bodies go back to how they should be.” In fact, “forest bathing” is a standard preventative medicine in Japan for those at risk of stress-induced diseases.

New Study Suggests Audio Hypnosis Could Help With Deep Sleep

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

the science of sleep

A new study suggests that listening to audio hypnosis just before bed may help some people reach a state of deep sleep and remain there for a longer period of time. The research, published in the journal Sleep, is the first to observe the connection between hypnosis and sleep through the measurement of brain wave activity.

Deep sleep, or slow-wave sleep, is the most restorative state of rest. When you enter into a deep sleep, your brain is able to process the day’s experiences and help you recover. As people begin to age, however, deep sleep is harder to obtain, and many older adults say they feel less rested or refreshed in the morning.

How to Deal with Burnout

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Suicidal Ideation and CyberbullyingWe all know what it feels like when you’ve had enough. It’s that listless, weary feeling of not wanting to proceed but knowing that you have to.

Some refer to it as ennui; others simply call it burnout.

It happens when the stress of performing a certain task overrides its enjoyment. It can take place in every facet of your life, from your job to your home life to your relationships.

Music Speed and Exercise

Monday, July 14th, 2014

self care, exerciseIf you’re like us, you try to exercise to improve your health and fitness. Maybe you’ve tried one of our least favorite exercises: the dreaded plank. In this form of torture, you face down and balance on your toes and elbows, keeping your trunk rigid and horizontal, suspended above the ground for a specified period of time (Dave can manage 60 seconds).

It’s so excruciating that we’re always trying to figure out how to make the time pass quicker while we do planks. For years, researchers and marketers have known that playing music in waiting rooms can make visitors feel like time is passing faster. So listening to music while you do planks would probably make them (slightly) more bearable.

Take Charge of Your Health, One Appointment at a Time

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

beverlyhillsmagazine.com“Really, it’s not you. It’s me,” I said to my psychiatrist this morning at an appointment.

I felt as though I were telling a boyfriend that I needed space, that I had been having lunch with another guy and now I was confused about where to go or how to proceed or what I wanted.

Mind Your Health: Using Mindfulness to Heal Your Body

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

mindful.orgScientist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn includes in his pages of “Full Catastrophe Living” a horrifying story that speaks powerfully about the mind-body connection.

When renowned cardiologist Bernard Lown was in training to become a physician, he had in his clinic a patient, “Mrs. S.,” who had a narrowing of one of the valves on the right side of her heart, the tricuspid valve. She was in mild congestive heart failure; however, she functioned well enough to maintain her job as a librarian and do household chores.

She would come to the weekly cardiac clinic run by Dr. S. A. Levine, a well-respected professor of cardiology at the Harvard Medical School and at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, to receive digitalis and injections of a mercurial diuretic. One week Dr. Levine greeted Mrs. S. warmly, as he usually did — the two had an affable relationship — and then he turned to the entourage of visiting physicians and said, “This woman has TS.” With those words he abruptly left.

Identifying Illness Through Scent

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Identifying Illness Through ScentIt’s been known for some time that rats and other animals can detect illness in others of their species based on scent. Rats will actively avoid sick packmates shortly after they fall ill, when there are few visible symptoms. Most people might believe that humans don’t notice sick friends quite so quickly and certainly not based on their scent. But is that belief really true?

It’s easy to identify someone with an illness if they show physical symptoms such as fever, sneezing, or exhaustion. It’s another matter to notice that person has just contracted a disease.

10 Things I Do Every Day to Beat Depression

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

52kitchenadventures.comFrom the moment my eyes open in the morning until the second that I pull my sleep mask over my face as I go to sleep, I am engaged in battle: I must protect myself with armor against ongoing negative intrusive thoughts that flood into my brain, while sending my prefrontal cortex — the home of logical thought — the green light to make decisions and to take charge of my brain’s limbic system (the emotional hub). That is, before the amygdala (fear center) spazzes out.

How to Help a High-Functioning Alcoholic in Denial

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

How to Help a High-Functioning Alcoholic in DenialHigh-functioning alcoholics might be one of the most dangerous types. They often are in denial about their alcoholism. They don’t realize how hard their drinking is on family members and friends, and since they seem to function normally, they don’t see a problem with it.

High-functioning alcoholics do not fit the “drunk” stereotype. They might reason that because they go to work and school, interact with their family, manage a household, and fulfill their everyday responsibilities, they can’t possibly have an alcohol problem.

Find Out How You Can Ease Chronic Illness with Meditation and Mindfulness

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

using-mindfulness-to-alter-your-mood

A novel study suggests that meditation and mindfulness can greatly improve the lives of people with chronic illness, particularly those with diabetes mellitus or coronary heart disease. Instead of worrying about the past or the future, patients begin to gently accept the limitations of their illness and focus on what is possible and beneficial in the present moment.

The study, published in Behavioral Medicine, found that patients who practice meditation and mindfulness experience better sleep and relaxation patterns and have a more accepting outlook toward living with a long-term illness.

10 Quick & Easy Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Woman outdoors holding flower smiling

We all know the importance of maintaining good physical health — we’re bombarded daily with ads for exercise programs, diet plans, and blog posts on what to eat and drink and what vitamin supplements to take or avoid. What’s not as frequently addressed, however, is mental health — but it’s just as important.

Household budgets are strained all across America, but even if times are tight there are plenty of ways to improve your mental outlook — and they don’t have to take a lot of time or effort.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behaviors

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult BehaviorsAdverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults were severely maltreated during childhood and approximately half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood.

Roughly one in ten adults have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences. There are many forms of childhood adversity, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

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